A New Significance

In this excerpt from a letter to Scott,  Zelda Fitzgerald describes her mental illness in words that sound very much like Beat Poetry:

In Paris, before I realized that I was sick, there was a new significance to everything:  stations and streets and facades of buildings– colors were infinite, part of the air, and not restricted by the lines that encompassed them and lines were free of the masses they held.  There was music that beat behind my forehead and other music that fell into my stomach from a high parabola and there was some of Schumann that was still and tender and the sadness of Chopin Mazurkas– Some of them sound as if he thought he couldn’t compose them– and there was the madness of turning, turning, turning through the decisiveness of Litz.  Then the world became embryonic in Africa– and there was no need for communication.  The Arabs fermenting in the vastness; the curious quality of their eyes and the smell of ants; a detachment as if I was on the other side of a black gauze…

From Zelda by Nancy Milford, ©1970, pages 166-167.

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2 thoughts on “A New Significance

  1. …for me, this selection actually reads more evocative than much of the very best from the beat poets….

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